Road Test: 2007 RS4 Revealed

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July 6, 2006

By: Jason Teller

You may be an ultra-hardcore Audi fanatic or a moderate automotive industry watcher – or be anywhere along the infinite spectrum between the two – and you will have heard, read or seen something about Audi’s RS4 supercar over the past months. The car is simply so good (and the automotive press so enamored with it) that it is getting rock star type coverage in everything from conventional automotive publications to mainstream publications, newspapers and television shows.

For certain, the RS4 has been raced, sprinted, maneuvered, hustled, glamorized and generally raved-about each step of the way. And we could do the same without breaking a sweat. The car really is that capable, and like other journalists – a surprising proportion of which actually called it out – we will always remember our seat time as an earnest highlight of the past ten years of driving everything Ingolstadt has had to offer.

So rather than another couple of pages of gaudy acclaim we thought we’d try to present something unique to satisfy even the most fervent Audi enthusiasts. We will still take a brief look at what makes the RS4 so special, but then promptly move on to an in-depth look at some of the more obscure “I want to know” RS4 factoids. Last, we were fortunate enough to shoot tons of raw footage of the RS4 at the track and on the road. To cap things off we have put together exclusive videos which we believe will give folks a greater appreciation for the stunning capabilities of the vehicle.

Solid Everywhere it Counts

Common synonyms for “solid” are unyielding, pure, genuine, sturdy, enduring and substantial. These must have been core design principles for the quattro GmbH team when assembling the RS4 because the vehicle nails each and every one of them. Take a look at any functional or design aspect of the RS4 and the term solid feels perfect. Evidence:

Powerplant – Essentially a new motor – a 4.2-liter V8 which fits snugly in the engine bay. Camshaft and ancillaries driven by chain. Modified pistons, connecting rods, a new crankshaft (and bearings) and new cylinder heads. The engine breaks the magical 100 hp per liter barrier, can rev to an astronomical 8,250 rpm, includes racecar-inspired direct injection (FSI) technology and pushes the car 0-60 mph in a mere 4.8 seconds.

Drivetrain – New generation of quattro drive with asymmetric torque distribution (a 40/60 bias) meaning more rear drive power under normal driving conditions.

Suspension – Includes Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), a mechanical system minimizing body roll, dive and pitch.

Brakes – Borrowed from the Lamborghini Gallardo. Enormous 14.4” in the front and 12.8” in the rear. 8-piston front calipers mated with cross-drilled and vented composite rotors. Programming that wipes the brake discs in inclement weather. RS4 logo’d and simple gorgeous!

Exterior – Sublime flared wheel arches. Flared side sills. A subtle rear spoiler, beefy oval tailpipes, twin-arm aluminum mirrors and standard 19” open-spoke design wheels all create a refined yet aggressive look.

Interior – Premium silk Nappa leather. Extensive yet tasteful use of carbon fiber. Aluminum pedals designed for their look as well as to save weight. Driver information display with oil temperature and a lap timer (among other things).

Indeed the RS4 is solid from all angles. It has been purpose-assembled by quattro GmbH to exude high performance and quite literally represents the pinnacle of what Audi has to offer from both a performance and a stylistic perspective in this class.

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